Tag Archive | Mommy Blog

Perfect…. Music

220px-Ed_Sheeran_&_Andrea_Bocelli_-__Perfect_Symphony_

This song… “Perfect” was my favorite song from this album to begin with. It reminds me of small intimate moments my husband and I had on our wedding day, small things that I haven’t thought of in years, things that most people forget over time. Little things he did, he said, that were very much out of his character that I wont gush about on here, because he does have family and friends that read this…

Andrea Bocelli, his music has been part of my life since I was little. I remember laying in bed, listening to my mom get her paints ready and then just before she would start painting, she would put on Him, or someone similar, or some beautiful classical music that would lull my brother and I to sleep. I hadn’t thought of those days in so long and how I feel they impacted my love and appreciation of music. It made me think about the music I play for my kids, and will it shape them the way my parents music shaped me? Will they have a set taste in music like their father or be fluid like me?

I shared this song with my grandmother, who I remember had more than a few Andrea Bocelli CDs growing up. And I hope this is a special song that we can share and create some sort of memory with. Music plays a huge part of my, because I see it and feel it as a universal language, its something we all have in common. Everyone has a song that speaks to them on some level, we never all share the same tastes, but that’s OK, its OK to be different, because then you have something to share, something to put out there..

Music doesn’t have to playing or even created at that point in time to bring up a memory, or a feeling. Music conveys so much, whether its the instrumental arrangement itself, or the lyrics speak to you on some level. Let me explain an example…

A few years back, a family friend passed away, and I was so sad about it, cried, it hurt. Then we all went on the hunt for pictures of this person, because we wanted to create a slideshow of our life and memories of him. and once the slide show was done we played it through and smiled and laughed at some of them. But something was missing, my mom or dad (not 100% sure which one…) heard a song and it made her think about that friend and how she was feeling at that point in time, of their passing. She put the song over the slideshow and instant tears! For all of us, the same pictures we just looked at before and were laughing with, now had us in tears, all because of a song! Music made the difference. It pulls emotion out, and it, to me, helps heal. I can listen to that song and smile now, thinking about this person, it helps.

Music to me is its own religion, a life force…. I heard a quote many years back and it said “Music is life…. That is why every heart has a beat.” This is something I will remember forever and live by.

I want music like this to continue for years to come…. I want my kids to share their music combined with the music that my parents listened to, with my parents and myself! I want music that combines childhood with adulthood to continue!

A song came out a long time ago, 2004, it was around the time someone I knew in school had committed suicide, it was a strange time for me because I had so many questions about it, and i was sad because this wasn’t a close friend, but I knew him, he was in a few of my classes, he and I had mutual friends. So when our teachers came in homeroom telling us what had happened, I was numb and confused. A few weeks later I hear this song “How Do You Get That Lonely?” By Blaine Larsen, and it asked the questions I was wondering, no answers but it was there, and it helped… I don’t know how but it did….. After a while i started looking up this artist and he was set to release an album soon… And in 2005 I got it, and on that album was a song that brought my music into my dads world.

My dad has always been the person I went to with music and he would listen to it, but in the end he would call it ‘long haired hippy shit”, so I was determined to find something he would listen to and love it, I was so very sure I found it!! “If Merle Would Sing My Songs”, my dad is a HUGE Merle Haggard fan, I grew up listening to his music when every my dad was home from work, and here was a song about this young kid going to Nashville to write songs in hopes that Merle Haggard would sing them…. and the last 3 lines were sang by Merle Haggard himself….

So Dad came home from work, there I was proud as a peacock, busted out the diskman and the head phones, “Dad I have a song I need you to listen to.” He played it off that he wasn’t even going to try and like it…. He put the head phones one, I won points that it was country song, more points when he heard the chorus about wanting Merle to sing his songs…. Then it got to the last part of the song, the last two lines, I watched my dad so intently waiting for that part, and when it hit I knew it, he got this look on his face and smiled… “That’s Merle.” He said, he listened to the song one more time…. Since then it has become one of my dads favorite songs my brother sings. I can play it every now and again and he will smile.

I won, music connecting us again, like it always does and i feel it always will.

I know I went through all kinds of twists and turns, and I hope you get what I am saying here….

‘Music Is Life…. That’s Why Every Heart Has A Beat.”

-Ashton <3

My Struggle With PTSD

There has been many articles recently about mental health for parents and family members that have experienced NICU life, and all the bumps, drop, loop de loops that roller coaster has in store for everyone incolved. I would like to share my battle with PTSD post NICU, 3 and half years later.

My son was born 16 weeks early, and I was a worrier before this, but this experience has amplified my paranoia about anything and everything that was not in my control. My little Spud was born at 24 weeks and 2 days gestation, 11 inches 1 pound 12 oz, and loud. He annouced his presence with a meek but powerful squeak, almost like a newborn kitten, I learned later that it was rare for little ones that early to have a powerful entrance, so much so that the nurses held him unsure of what to do for a moment or two. 

Now, this part is mainly to explain where I came from to have you understand where I am now. We were in the NICU for 157 days total and 33 days in a childrens hospital, with 2 attempts at coming home before the third one stuck. We were sent home the first time just before his due date, and his Respiratory therapist came tonthe house the following morning and as she hooked him up to the pulse ox monitor he stopped breathing, turned grey and she preformed CPR on him while i was on the phone with 911 amd rounded up cats. She got him breathing and crying and back to the NICU we went, they kept us for 4 days, ran tests and came up with nothing, so they wrote it off as a one off situation and sent us home. As I drove him home I make sure he was mad and would cry the whole 15 minute drive home. You might see that as cruel, I saw that as a way to keep calm. That was the beginning of my spiral down, we got home. My husband and I gave our son his first bath at home, I swaddled him up, put a bum on him and fed him. I handed him to my husband to burp while I went to clean the bottles. Two minutes later my husband is yelling, I run and spring into action, I start CPR, got my husband to wrangle cats and call 911. I got him to burp, fart and whine but no gasp or full cry. The paramedics, who were the same group that were at our house 4 days prior, lifted me off my child and into the hall to start CPR with machines and oxygen masks. 

We were admitted for 34 days in the NICU and 33 in the children’s Hospital after this incident. I refused social work while in the NICU and hospital with my son. I did not want to focus on me, I wanted my son to come home and stay home and stay alive this time. I spent hours writing everything down, filling my sons medical binder with everything and anything. He was my focus 110%.

The third time he came home on oxygen, on a tank I had to bring around with me, so I became a hermit and only left if I had a helper, or to the doctors office alone. He was home before Christmas, and off oxygen by March, my husbands birthday, and I went to a happy routine with him until June. I had to put my son in daycare for 2 hours a day while I worked nights, and my husband worked days. 

Thats when my husband and family started noticing a slight problem, at work I would be overcome with a sence of panic and call my husband repeatedly until he would answer anc check on Spud, make sure he was breathing, make him put the phone up to his mouth so I could hear it. It wasn’t just once and a while, it was 1 to 3 times a night 5 nights in a row. My family doctor put my ativan while at work, but to use as needed, he also put me in touch with a family councillor who was the first person to tell me I may have NICU PTSD and put me in touch with a psychologist. 

I saw her once a week, we worked on talking and medications therapies that helped calm me down. This was from July till October, I was down to once a month visits. The end of October I found out we were pregnant with baby number 2. And I had to stop my medications, and up my therapy visits to try and remain normal. But in January, I lost my job and my coverage for therapy and my husbands coverage couldn’t cover it anymore. I panicked for most of my pregnancy, I had a full meltdown at 22 weeks and again at 24 weeks. I had it in my brain that something was going to go worng. I didn’t enjoy my pregnancy with my daughter, I didn’t feel the joy of finding out it was a girl, I didn’t feel happy shopping for clothes because it felt like something was going to go wrong. But nothing did, Princess Tally came into the world 6 days overdue at 8 lbs 14oz 22 inches long via c section because she had a big head like her dad. 

I didn’t enjoy my 4 day hospital stay, I refused to put her down, I made nurses watch her while I went to the bathroom if family wasn’t there. They made me meet with a social worker to help me get back on medications, which ment I could not breast feed. I had to do it, I had to make this sacrifice for my daughter, so I would have all my mental faculties for her, Spud and my husband. 

I manage my PTSD with medications to this day, and I still have good days and bad days where I pop an Ativan to get through the day, I struggle daily with it, there are nights I wake up 4 to 6 times a night and check both kids, I do not work. I stay at home and try to find some normalcy for my family, for me, I start back to counseling in 3 weeks. Its a battle, but I am willing to fight this, because I have something worth fighting for. 

– Ashton <3

Journey To Heal Diastasis Recti: Part One

Guest Post By: Lindsay Sutherland

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I have decided that I want to share my journey to heal my Diastasis Recti because I think it might be able to help some of you who may have it or may have pelvic floor issues.  This isn’t going to be easy for me to share because it is uncomfortable to talk about so please be kind with any comments you want to share 🙂

My journey started about 9 months after I had my second baby and I started to notice that something didn’t seem right with my stomach.  For one, I looked like I was still about 6 months pregnant even though I had lost all of my baby weight and then some.  Secondly, something just didn’t feel right when I went to sit up for a laying down position and while jumping.  And third, I leaked a bit of pee when I sneezed.

I started to google what might be wrong and I came across a term called Diastasis Recti.  I found a few websites that described how to check and see if you have it.   There are tons of videos and websites out there that describe how to test for this and they are all pretty consistent in their instructions, here is one if you like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiqfFM3kNuk.  So, I tested myself and was horrified by what I found.  I was able to comfortably fit 3 fingers horizontally in the gap in the middle of my abs and the gap was so deep that I could put my fingers vertically into it up to the large knuckles on my fingers.

After my shock subsided, I started to think about what I could do about this.  Did I need surgery?  Was this normal?  Are there exercises I could do that would help?  Should I see a physiotherapist?

What I decided to do as my first step was see a physiotherapist about it.  And he did in fact make the diagnosis of Diastasis Recti and gave me some exercises to do and told me which ab exercises to avoid.  I tried my best to do the exercises as he described, but I just didn’t get it.  I didn’t understand how to activate the muscles that he was telling me I needed to strengthen.

So, I went back to the internet to try and educate myself more about this condition.  I found this visual image helpful:

https://www.todaysparent.com/baby/postpartum-care/how-to-spot-and-treat-a-diastasis-recti/

This image helped me to understand exactly what was going on with my stomach muscles and which muscles I needed to learn how to activate and strengthen.

When I started looking on the internet for how to heal my Diastasis Recti and improve the function of my abs and pelvic floor, I got all sorts of conflicting information.  Some sites said do pelvic tilts, some sites said don’t do pelvic tilts, some sites said that wrapping or splinting your abs works, some sites said that this could actually make things worse.  I was confused to say the least lol!

While looking around on the internet I found that there were 2 well known and very popular programs that you could buy that claim to help you heal your diastasis recti (I say “claim” only because I haven’t actually tried these programs so I can’t comment on whether or not they work).  One is the MuTu System https://mutusystem.com/12-week-3 which is a 12 week online program and costs $97 USD.  And the other one is the Tupler Technique https://diastasisrehab.com/online-support which is a 6 week online program and costs $225 USD plus you need the Diastasis Rehab Splint which is another $50 USD.

I didn’t want to pay that much money for these programs, so I looked for whatever I could find that was free.  I found a free program that was for pre and postnatal women, unfortunately it looks like this program isn’t offered anymore so I can’t share it with you.  I did this program for 4 weeks and I saw a difference both in how my tummy looked and the function of my core muscles.

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Here is a picture of what my tummy looked like before I started trying to heal my ab split and pelvic floor issues vs after doing the 4 week program that I must mentioned:

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After the 4 weeks was done, I started looking for more free diastasis safe workouts online and found this:  http://purelytwins.com/2015/02/17/how-do-i-get-rid-of-my-diastasis-recti-my-tummy-update/

Scroll down and enter your information and you will receive 18 free workouts that are safe for people with diastasis recti.

I did these 18 workouts (a different one each day) for about a year.  And they are great full body workouts that allowed me to get my body in pretty good shape overall.

While I really like these workouts, and the gap between my abs has decreased and gotten shallower, I was still having issues with functionality.  Specifically, I was still leaking pee while jumping and sneezing sometimes.  So, I decided that I had to change something and went back to the internet to search for something that could help the functionality issues I was having.  Here is what I found:  https://health.nataliehodson.com/order-form This is a 4 week program, it is not free, but it is only $27 USD.  Well, it is actually $37 USD but when I bought it there was a promotion on which may still be available.  This was a price that I could live with, and after reading some of the other content on this website, I felt like this was a program that could really help me.

I am currently in the middle of week 2 of this program and so far, here is what I can say about it, my core was pretty sore for the first 2 days of the program even though it feels like the exercises aren’t accomplishing much.  You don’t sweat, and your muscles don’t get that burning feeling that you usually get when you do a traditional exercise.  So it really feels like you aren’t doing much.  These workouts are super boring lol!  They really are, but, I also think they are super important and deserve my full attention and effort.  So, that is what I am doing.  I am giving this my all, even though it doesn’t feel like much.

Yesterday, after about 1.5 weeks of doing these workouts, I sneezed (with a full bladder) and didn’t pee!!!!!  It felt amazing!!  So, I feel like I’m on the right track!!  I’m going to post some pictures of my progress, even though my goal is improved function and not how my core/tummy looks.  If there is an improvement in how my tummy looks it will be a bonus and since I can’t show you pictures of me not peeing myself lol, I’ll show you pictures of my tummy as I go through this program.

Here is me at the beginning of the Abs, Core and Pelvic Floor program (1.5 weeks ago) vs at the end of week 1:

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Not seeing a huge change in how my tummy looks so far, but that is not what I’m after anyway.  I am however thrilled about not peeing when I sneezed yesterday!!  Now THAT is what I’m after!

Here are a few things you can change right now if you think you have diastasis recti:

  1. Don’t panic. Every woman that has given birth has had diastasis recti.  It is normal for your abs to move apart to accommodate your growing baby.  For many women, their abs return to normal within the first few months after giving birth and they have no issues with bladder leakage or back pain.  For some women (like myself), the ab gap does not close on its own and other issues like bladder leakage occur yay! Lol
  2. There are things you can do to narrow the gap and improve function without surgery and it’s never too late. It doesn’t matter if you are 12 months post-partum or 12 years.
  3. Don’t jack knife out of bed. Instead, roll to your side and push yourself up with the help of one arm.  The same goes for when you want to get into and out of a laying down position for exercises.
  4. Avoid crunches, bicycle kicks, planks or full pushups or anything that makes your tummy bulge out while you do it as this can make your gap worse.
  5. When you find success in closing your ab separation, use caution when returning to traditional ab exercises. You could be reversing the progress you have made.

Check out part 2 of the journey here 🙂

 

 

**Thank you Lindsay For sharing your Journey. Here are the links to follow more of Lindsay’s Journey:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smallcitystyle/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/linzyannesu/pins/

Blog:  http://smallcitystyle.com/

 

 

Reluctant Stay At Home Mom…

I have been a stay at home mom going on 2 years, don’t get me wrong I love it and everything these two have brought to my live.

But I have been working since I was 14, baby sitting and I was a summer nanny to 2 kids one summer. Then at 16/17 I started cleaning wellsite trailer for my uncles leasing and fabrication company, that moved me into customer service at movie rental places, gas stations and a grocery store! I worked all through high school, did bad things and even got myself fired from a job back then. At 21 I started working as my moms assistant doing HR and payroll and rolled out to helping accounts payable, accounts receivable, and the accountant department. I learned I have a knack for certain things, and I took that knack to a 3 day course to become a book keeper. And then at 23 I started at my last job and was there for almost 5 years, and I loved it so so much. But many factors came into play and here I am at home with 2 little toddlers, and a list of things to do that I cant seem to motivate myself to do.

I do dishes, I cook, I tidy and I make sure the kids are bathed with clean clothes always, but my house has gathered clutter and I look at it and say it needs to be delt with but never really get to it.

I am a part time single mom, my husband is home 1 week a month and the routine is just out the window during that one week. I am ok with it, but now as I don’t have a real house cleaning routine, and no real motivation to gut my house it takes me a week after he leaves to get everything back in a functioning order.

I love being the one who gets to bond with my kids and see them grow into little amazing people. I have thought about going back to work on more than one occasion, but it’s not possible to do. Day care averages for my childre , $850 a month for my daughter, and $850 a month for my son, and my son is only part time Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays because he is in school 4 hours a day, and I cannot work Wednesdays because those are important meetings, trips, and many other things that are school related with my son. As you may remember from many many posts about this, Spud is delayed due to his prematurity, so keeping in constant communications with his school is key, and I am a hands on mom when it comes to that, I would rather hear it from the horses mouth than second hand. I have played way to many games of Telephone as a child to know that this would not end well. 

You might be thinking, how are trips useful, well they teach skills, and are fun for the little kids, weren’t field trips fun for you in school? But, with all these dilemmas the one thing that hurts is due to the fact that life costs money and I cannot make any, my husband is working camp jobs and losing time with his kids, seeing them grow up through pictires and videos. If I could I would change places with him, but I can’t, my skills are set to start at $18.00 an hour and cap around $25.00 an hour, where as my husbands start at $22.00 and hour and can cap at $45.00 or better. We are just starting his career here, so we are still on the low end when it comes to supporting a family of 4 and a Bijoux, so I am the reluctant stay at home mom. 
I love it…. But I also hate it….. 
-Ashton <3

Terrorism Hit Too Close To Home


This is Constable Mike Chernyk, and he is an amazing 11 year veteran of the Edmonton Police Service. You see on Sunday around 8 pm, he was doing a patrol walk around the football stadium, that was filled with people when a white Malibu blew through the sidewalk hitting him, launching him 15 feet in the air to land hard on the cement. The person who hit him, on purpose, gets out of the car flashing a knife scaring away people who were making sure the officer was ok, in some capacity, then proceeded to stab, cut, and slash the already wounded man. All this to get his gun, to get this police officers gun, to continue his plan for the evening. But, Constable Mike Chernyk fought him off, kept his gun safe radioed for help as the suspect ran off, the contable was taken to the hospital. The man hunt started.
Around 11 pm, a Uhaul was pulled over at a check point, they asked to see his licence and he matched the description of the suspect wanted in the constables assault. So the police officer called for back up, as he did so the Uhaul fled. Four police cars persued and pedestrians were struck by the Uhaul before it hit the curb and flipped on it side and the suspect was taken into custody. He has been charged with several different offences, but what the media points out several times in many different ways he was a Syrian Refugee. While I am angry at him for what he did, and how he ruined my safe bubble, I am angry at the people blaming all the people here who have actually come to be safe, to escape what is happening here, and Las Vegas. 

I am not belittling what happened in Las Vegas by any means, but this attack happened in my home. Where I grew up, where I am raising my 2 small children. This hurts my heart, and this man, Constable Mike Chernyk, is my hero. He is someone I wan my 3 year old son to meet, and this man is the reason why I know the old saying “Don’t let a few bad Apples spoil the whole batch.” With all the negativity around police, this is why I hold onto hope and let my son adore them and have them be something to strive for as he grows up. And this is also why, I will not allow this one man, who ruined my home and broke my heart, make me believe all refugees are like him. 

Constable Mike Chernyk, is home now, resting with bumps bruises and stitches. Two of the four pedestrians hit are home, the other two are in serious condition in hospital. No fatalities, my thoughts, and warm positivity goes to all the families effected here and in Las Vegas. 
Remember to Love everyone equally. 
-Ashton <3

Farmers Days 2017

Be warned, short blog in words, but will be full of pictures!!

Well we did it! We went to the farmers days parade! And really that is all we did for Farmers Days weekend. After a long talk with my hubby we both felt that the kids were still a bit to little for the fair and rodeo. I should say he felt that way, he was raised a city boy, and I respected his wishes, because we are a team, even if I was upset a bit.

But we did get to go to the parade, and Princess Tally has figured out how to clap and was clapping along with every one around her, before she fell asleep. We met up with Oma and GiGi, they enjoyed the parade with us.

Princess Tally was very happy because she loves her Oma and got snuggled to sleep during the parade. So much do that the loud noises of the tractors, the stock cars, and the hot air balloon did not wake her up. Spud enjoyed all the free candy, but was Tickled right pink when the local grocery store float gave him and apple! He was more excited about the apple, so that to me is a parenting win!

But, like I mentioned before about how Princess Tally was OK with the loud noises, Mister Spud on the other hand was far from thrilled and I had to take him out of the stroller, and he sat on the ground with me and I had to cover his ears so he could enjoy the rest of the parade. He was excited for the fire trucks, tractors, and other “big boy things”,  as he puts it. He kept pointing out all the tires and how big they were. But because he was snuggling with me I didn’t get to many pictures after that. Actually, I got none, but here are the few that I did get. Please Enjoy.

 Tally and her Oma getting settled.

 Waving at the military trucks

 Excited for the tractors, but kept asking me where the green ones were.

 Fighting sleep, about 3 minutes later she was asleep.

 See.

 Spud so excited he got his Canadian Flag.

 Spuds Big green tractors and this is when he crawled on my lap and needed me to cover his ears.

 Couldn’t even make it through lunch after, he was so tired.

 

Thank you for reading! Please follow me on Social Media.

Wish you all Love, Happiness and all kinds of pretty things.

– Ashton <3

Music Is My Fairy Tale

MUSIC IS MY FAIRY TALEI grew up in a house hold that always had music buzzing around. There was either someone playing a record ( you know those big black disk things around since the stone age?), someone (attempting to) play and instrument, or just someone singing a song they had stuck in their head. My brother could watch a Disney movie once and have every single song memorized by the end of it. My dad worked out of town and all my memories of him revolve around music in some manner, when he was home, whether it be dish cloth dew rags, pots and pan band practice to queen albums, or playing guess the song in 10 bars or less. My mom was a painter and at night I remember being all tucked into my bed and hear her classical music playing down the hall while she painted, and my brother and I drifted off to sleep.usic helped me become who I am in some manner of speaking, because when you are a kid you listen to everything your parents listen to, In my case that was a lot of old school country like Merle Haggard, George Jones and Patsy Cline, which I still listen to, to this day. But when I started school my friends introduced me to what their parents listened to and I loved that just as much as what my parents listened to, and I would ask my mom to buy me albums and CDs until I could get them myself with my baby sitting money. Then came the boy band faze of my life, but I was never ever picky when it came to bands and I bought it all and listened to it all. by 13 I had over 200 cassette tapes and 52 CDs, I still listened to what my parents had as well with A tracks, records and their CDs and Cassettes. There was never anything I didn’t like, and when I went through my rebelling faze I just started listening to Marilyn Manson, Eminem, and other “controversial” artists at the time (Can I hope my kids will do the same?).

To me there was a song to help me through everything, when my first friend committed suicide a country song came out at the same time called “How Do You Get That Lonely” by Blaine Larsen, and that helped me in a way, when my grandpa passed away I found comfort in his favorite song, “Long Black Train” by Josh Turner.

This is my last point on the songs, but I went through a time at 16/17 years old where I fell into a bad crowd forgot who I was and just wanted me accepted by everyone instead of enjoying being who I was as an individual, I got into some drugs and while I was getting myself out of that deep hole a friend from Vancouver gave me an EP, by a band Called Marianas Trench and they helped me find me again, and I thank those guys every time I see them. I have had the honor of meeting them and getting to know them. I see them as my friends in a way because of how they had helped me, and I wanted to help them, I learned what I could about street teams and the music industry (the bare bones of it anyways) and tried to help them make a mark in the Canadian music front, along the way I gained great friends and lost some friends, but it all shaped who I am today and who I want to me for my son.

When I was pregnant with both my kids, I played music to my belly and sang songs to my babies all the time. I wanted music to be a profound part of my children’s lives like it had been for me. Then a scary thing happened and I went into labor 16 weeks early with my first, my son. I didn’t know how to handle anything with my son by that point. I didn’t know how to make him comfortable or myself for that matter, because my normal means of comfort couldn’t help a preemie baby…. Or could it?

I did some massive digging and found music therapy was found to be very beneficial to pre-term babies. But all the studies I had read were done with classical music, I do like classical music but we were not going to be listening to that all the time at home, when he did come home. So I bought an i pod mini loaded it with music I loved, music Hubby loved and music that our parents loved, which is what I had been playing for him since I found out he was growing in my tummy. I told the nurses to play it when he was really stressed out and see what happens when Hubby and I would go home for the night. (Who am I kidding Hubby Dragged me out of there to try and get some sleep.) We would come back to find that the music had calmed him down and he was showing signs of major improvement over the course of our stay. At one point in the middle of the night there were 3 nurses attending to a baby across from my son and all of sudden they heard this music being played and they could not figure out where it was coming from, they walk closer to DJs isolette and it is his ipod that he somehow turned all the way up. I remember the nurse telling me it was “Shake Tramp” by Marianas Trench, because she was a fan of them as well and we had bonded over that early on.

Now that we are out of the NICU and at home, music is still a big part of his day, whether it be our dance parties in the living room, that our old mail man loved to laugh and wave at every time he saw us, or the singing and band time he has with my dad who is passing more memories of music down to my children like he did with myself and my brother, as well as my daughter now.

I once read a quote that describes who I am in a very big way:

I Believe In Music, The Way Some People Believe In Fairy Tales.

I am now passing on that love to my kids and passing along they music therapy ideas to other moms I have met in the NICU, I hope it is as useful and up lifting for them as it was for me.

Thanks, now here are a bunch of pictures of me and band member I have met, as well I will add I have kept all my ticket stubs and have gone to over 380 concerts (including bar ones) since I turned 18, that is 11 years….. I should also note that I have been to 5 concerts in the past 7 years.

 

Andrew TSE Me and Daniel Of Ten Second Epic at a music video shoot for them, they were a local band that has since disbanded, but I would recommend looking up their older stuff if you like pop punk type stuff.

Benny Social Code Ben From Social Code, another local band that has disbanded but again, Please look up their stuff online and on Spotify and iTunes.

Cam SOS Cam from State of Shock! Sweet guy, they haven’t put anything new out lately but their stuff is really good.

Chris Hedley  Chris Former drummer for Hedley! They just put out some new stuff that I love with all me heart and would love for you to check out Hedley if you haven’t already.

Dan Tupelo Honey Dan from his Tupelo Honey days, He went from backing vocals and guitar to lead singer, now they are all doing solo stuff, Dan has moved from pop and pop punk/rock, to country! So please look up Tupelo Honey the band, they have a few albums out with Matty as the lead singer, then Dan, and also please look up Dan Davidson and his music. I have known and supported Tupelo and these guys for 11 to 12 years.

 

First Mike PIcture Me and my very first picture with Micheal Ayley of Marianas Trench!! I miss the curl.

Greg Tupelo Honey Greg from Tupelo Honey! Sweet heart in spades!

Kadoo (Simon) SOS Kadoo (Simon) from State of Shock, I am not gonna lie this is one of my favorite pictures every, because I look damn fine! lol

Me and trench Me and the whole of Marianas Trench after stalking, I mean following them on all their Alberta dates. This was the last show and I am bagged!

Morgan Social Code Me and Morgan From Social Code, please look up their stuff.

Patrick TSE Patrick From Ten Second Epic and I from the same music video as before.

Pee-Nuts Pee-Nutz! sweetest merch/ sound guy ever! he helped a few of the local bands out and we knew from the countless shows we went to.

Sandy TSE Sandy and I from the same TSE shoot. He is a huge teddy bear and hugged everyone that came out.

Steve Tupelo Honey Steve From Tupelo Honey, I got along so good with him in the many shows I saw as well as proving to him I could hold my liquor.

Tommy Hedley Tommy Mac and I from Hedley, I think I was trying to mimic his face, or I was a bit tipsy, unsure at this point lol.

Guitar Sammich Of Awesome I would like to call this the Guitarist Glam-mich! We have Dave from Hedley, Matty from Trench and Dan from Tupelo, and luck ol me in the middle!

And this last one of Ian and I….. Lets say alcohol may or may not have been involved….

Ya.....

 

Thank you all for reading,

I am sending you all hearts Love and other pretty things.

-Ashton <3

Do I Feel Pretty? 

There is a lot of “Love Yourself!” and “You are wonderful just how you are!” articles out there and body positivity groups and social media posts. But there are also a lot of skinny airbrushed perfect pictured models out there, more so I feel. And that got me thinking, Do I really feel pretty?

I stopped and really thought about it, and then i stood in front of my mirror and picked apart EVERYTHING about myself. I could stand to lose 100 to 115 pounds, my boobs are to big and saggy, I have to many freckles and will never have clean clear skin. I went on about my hair and the permanent bags under my eyes, and everything i could see that was “wrong” with me.

Then, my husband walks in the room and asked what I was doing, “oh nothing” and I gave him a smile, he then just looks me up and down, “You are beautiful.” Gives me a quick kiss grabs what he needed and leaves the room. And after that few moment exchange I looked back in that mirror and expected to see something different, but I still saw all my “imperfections”. Then my daughter wakes up, then I remember the struggle to have her and that big c section scar that caused a small belly overhang, and I smiled. Then she started playing with my hair and smiled at me, she always loved my hair in braids that’s why its up. Then my son comes running in the room, and goes in a big voice “Hi Mommy!” and that made me think about the stress of him being in the NICU and the many sleepless nights I had because of it and the PTSD, and these raccoon eyes seemed like a badge of honor to have survived that terrible and magical time of my life. The. I remember how I tried to breast feed both my kids and that’s why my boobs are sagging. And as for the being bigger, I can change that, if I really wanted to I can change all of that.

I always make excuses for not wearing makeup or taking the time to make myself feel good. My goodness, there are days where I wont even brush my hair and just throw it in a pony tail or top knot, because I am more focused on my kids. But those are things that I can fix and when I fix those things, it takes  15  to 20 minutes and I feel like I am pretty. There is no magic potion that is going to make you forget the stretch marks, or the 12 extra pounds you are trying to hide. So if you ask me do I feel pretty 100% of the time, hell no! Would I change anything about my body, I would say yes at the time, but when it came to it no. Because I earned myself with this body, I have 2 great kids and a husband who tells me how pretty I am and how much he loves me. That makes me pretty no matter how I feel.

 

Thanks for reading!

Sending you love, hearts and Other pretty things.

-Ashton <3

Farmers Days

Farmers

I grew up in small town Alberta Canada, and every year from the time I was about 10 I looked forward to the Farmers Days festivities. There was the fair grounds that had the sketchy rides and rigged games, the rodeo that all started on the Friday night, then Saturday morning there was the Mayors pancake breakfast for $2.00 and you got juice pancakes bacon AND sausage! Then we would make our way downtown to stake out a great spot for the parade! It was awesome seeing all the people from town gather and all the fun floats that people made and the big farming equipment. Then the little kids could go to the fire hall and see the fire trucks and go for a tour of the hall and meet the fire men and become honorary fire men and women for the day. Then we would make our way to the shuttle points and hop on an old school bus that ran every 15 minutes bringing people to and from the  fairgrounds where we would watch the rodeo play games and just have fun as a community.

 

A lot of local family businesses would get into it and have sales and specials that whole weekend since there were a lot more people around town. Well since I am now back in my home town, with my kids we are going to do our very first family farmers days!! Including the pancake breakfast, the parade, the fair grounds and maybe a few little extra things around town, and I want to bring you all on that adventure with us!

 

Spud, my son, has only done the parade once and he was just a few weeks (2 weeks) shy of his first birthday, so he was about 9 months adjusted. So that’s not a lot of fun for him, but I do have a CRAP ton of pictures of him there at the parade, but this year he will be 2 weeks shy of his 3rd birthday and Tally will be 1 month shy of a year. So I feel this year will be a fun family weekend going out and enjoying all the sights, smells and sounds of a great town event.

 

I hope you all will join us when I post the whole weekend in my blog in 2 weeks’ time!!

 

Hope to hear from you all then

Love Hearts and all kinds of Pretty Things

 

Ashton <3

Part Time Single Parent

I am in a loving, happy marriage to the man of my nightmares, we have 2 beautiful children who I love more than life itself. We have a fat old tabby cat that is scared of his own shadow. But I am a part time single parent, my husband works out of town 14 days out 21, and I am left at home with 2 kids under 3, my 2.5 year old has pre school classes once a week, and lego club every Friday. Then there is grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, changing bums, 2 baths, clingy babys, clingy toddlers, sick kids and everything else. I do have some help with family and friends who offer to watch so I can catch up on some sleep, but its not the same support I get when my husband is home.

I have respect for the moms who do it 100% of the time alone, you are my heroes, and to those moms whose husbands are gone for weeks and months at a time and are far away from family and friends.

I have had to learn that a schedule is key to a good and steady day, and I have learned that it doesn’t matter if you are sick, you still have to mom up and do what needs to be done. (I did let house work slide while sick though…. Shhhh.)

I have learned to appreciate the naps I get once my hubby is home and the break I get when it comes to going to the store with no kids. I have learned that I do have a great family and support system when I am alone.

I learned that my mom is the strongest and best person to turn to in this situation. She was the part time single mom for 16 years! My dad did this before getting promoted to the nice office job and my mom did it all like me, and she even had part time jobs and ran a day home with even more kids! She would grocery shop with the kids, and teach them how to do house work, she is much stronger than me. But I strive every day to be even half the mom she is to us.

She helped me through the NICU with my son, put her feelings and emotions aside to help me. Where she found the strength to do this started being a single mom for 80% of the time for 16 years.

I am a part time single parent.

 Thank You for reading, please Like, Comment, and follow me on social media.

Love, Hearts, and Pretty Things

Ashton <3